An Irish couple named Patricia and Tony Walsh own the company Walsh Colour Print and Educate.ie, which has 120 employees. Being that many of the employees come from different European countries, they’ve had a hard time finding housing.
To help their employees out, the couple built subsidized housing that would be rented out to their employees a little over $36,000 under market value. The other units in the building would be rented out on the open market at a regular price to offset the costs.
They set out to make this happen back in 2017 when two of their longtime employees, Ana and Marcin Wojs, came to them and told Patricia and Tony they might have to move back to their home countries if they can’t find affordable housing.
There are 70 units in total at the new apartment building and 20 of them have been put aside for employees. The Wojs family were the first to buy and move into an apartment, preparing themselves for the holiday season. Finalizations are in the works for two more families that will be able to spend New Years’ in their new home.
Tony Walsh has also noted that there will be an informal agreement with employees who plan to buy an apartment: They will have to stay with the company for at least another 10 years. While it’s not legally binding, he believes this agreement helps to build a steady workforce and owning a home helps keep their employees on a steady track to retirement.
He told RTÉ News, “Mercin and Anna and their family are over the moon. For the first time in their lives, they own something. We are going to roll this out now to the rest of our staff and, at the end of their time, when they are finished working with Walsh Colour Print and Educate.ie, they can close the door and say, ‘We own this.’”
Anna told RTÉ News, “It’s the best Christmas present ever. “The feeling now is that we are happy, just happy.”